Octavio Medellin

May 23, 1907 - Apr 1, 1999

Mexican-American artist Octavio Medellin was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1907. Fleeing the Mexican Revolution to San Antonio in 1920, Medellin studied at the San Antonio Art Institute and later at the Chicago Art Institute. In 1929 he returned to Mexico and made a two-year study of his native country’s art, customs, and history, which profoundly influenced his art. By 1931, Medellin moved back to San Antonio and taught sculpture at the Witte Museum. He returned to Mexico in 1938 for a six-month study of the ruins at Chichén Itza, sponsored by Lucy Maverick, which he documented with a series of sketches of the ruins. From 1938 through the 1960s, Medellin taught many types of media, including ceramics, mosaics, glass, and lost-wax process in bronze casting at the North Texas State Teachers College [now the University of North Texas] and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School. He also instructed art majors from Southern Methodist University in his studio at the Dallas Museum, eventually opening the Medellin School of Sculpture in Dallas [now the Creative Arts Center of Dallas] in 1966. He designed and implemented major art projects in Dallas throughout the 1950s, and continued to teach until semi-retirement in 1979. Medellin’s work has been represented in exhibitions and museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1977, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership from the Texas Fine Arts Association. Octavio Medellin died in Dallas, Texas in 1999, at Doctors Hospital [now the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – White Rock]; he was 91. He is buried at Calvary Hill Cemetery close to his mosaic monument, The Garden of the Glorious Mysteries, designed and installed in 1962-1965.
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